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Buying a 2006 KTM 250 that won't start

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Hello,

 

new to the forum, but I've been reading and learning a lot from here.  I'm still learning about dirt bikes and by no means am I an expert.

 

Im looking to buy a 2006 ktm 250 from craigslist.  He's asking 1000 obo.  The guy is saying it sat for 8 months and it won't start.  He replaced the spark plug etc.  he's claiming it's a carb issue.  I'm going to look at it Wednesday and I am not going to pay 1k. I'm  Going to offer less, since there's no way to tell me what's wrong.  

 

Anyway, when I look at it, what should I check to ensure it's not a completely messed up engine?  

 

Also, if it is an engine issue, how expensive is it to rebuild?  How hard is it to do yourself? 

The bike does look pretty clean from the pictures.  

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From the pictures it looks like it's worth $1000.

It very well could be the carb after sitting for 8 months.  Jets and fresh gas should make a big difference.  If it's a top end rebuild you're looking at about $800 including a couple special tools you'll need.  The job is pretty easy with a service manual.  KTM makes it hard to screw up putting them back together.

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open the airbox ! if sand or dirt there don't buy. also look at bottom of engine cases for impact damage. if it has good compression it should run and most likely that pump gas sat long enough to clog pilot jet. pull the tank off and remove spark plug to look for rust

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Thanks for the reply!   So if there's sand and dirt inside the air of don't buy?  Even if I get a good deal on it?   

 

Basically im wanting to buy this hoping for a decently easy repair and get a good deal on a dirt bike.  (If it needs a clean carb and minor work, for 1k it's a steal).  If it needs a new top end or something, I don't mind the work. As long as I can get it for the right price.  

 

If there are are signs of dirt and stuff inside the air box/poor compression what should I buy it for?  

 

Also, is there anything else I should check?

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The end all test for a bike engine is a leak down test.

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Why cant the guy fix it, your taking a lot of risk,  could be a simple carb cleaning or 2 grand of stuff about to blow.  The motor and tranny are a lot more important than the cosmetics.

The leak down test can be done by a shop prior to buying, course that will cost you a $100 , that helps, but there's much more other stuff that wont detect.

Edited by Spud786
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For some reason, his choice of stickers give me the impression that he didn't know or do much for maintenance.  Just a gut feeling.  

Anyway, if he'll give you a few minutes to inspect, loosen the carb and rotate it with the bottom towards you, pop the plug out of the bottom of the carburetor bowl and that will allow you to get in there with the straw of a can of carb cleaner.   The main jet is right there, you can put the straw directly in and give it a shot.  If you're careful you can usually get the pilot jet a little too.  Wear some glasses, it's not unusual for the spray to come right back at you.  After that it should be good enough to start or at least sputter.  Remove the air filter and a shot of starting fluid down the open carburetor should definitely get it to fire a few times no matter how clogged the carburetor is.  If it does fire then you haven't learned a whole lot (and engine with very low compression will still fire with starting fluid), but if it doesn't fire then it tells you that there are more problems.  

Check the oil, if it's dirty or low then pass.  Check behind the air filter, if there's dirt of any kind then pass.  Check the spark plug, if it's super clean (head gasket leak) or has metal flakes or a bent electrode (piston/valve damage), definitely pass.  If there's oil or thick crust on the spark plug electrode then expect that it was burning oil last time it was running. 

Edited by sirthumpalot
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Thank you for the knowledge, thumpsalot.   I'll updat y'all at Wednesday 

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10 hours ago, Jskinn27 said:

Thanks for the reply!   So if there's sand and dirt inside the air of don't buy?  Even if I get a good deal on it?   

 

Basically im wanting to buy this hoping for a decently easy repair and get a good deal on a dirt bike.  (If it needs a clean carb and minor work, for 1k it's a steal).  If it needs a new top end or something, I don't mind the work. As long as I can get it for the right price.  

 

If there are are signs of dirt and stuff inside the air box/poor compression what should I buy it for?  

 

Also, is there anything else I should check?

it can cost quite a bit to rebuild a poorly maintained engine. if you see dirt past the filters then the intake valves are toast. drop the oil and look for water, remove the oil filter and look for metal.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Airboss/oc said:

and BTW toss that UGLY seat

LOL.  Not necessarily my cup of tea either, but this bike darn close to the 2018 Six Days shcema!!

Capture.PNG.1fb418ba87e2404ab063613a8320bc77.PNG

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im hoping It all works out.   Really wanting a ktm.  I'm running an 09 yz450f right now.  

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If you're currently riding a 450, this 250 will feel very underpowered.  Have do you intend to ride it?  Easy two track trails, single track, dunes, just putting around, hillclimbs?

The cats meow for me is my plated 525 for dual sporting but I'd love to add a 300EXC for technical off road stuff.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Burnrider said:

$1,000 - wonder if it's not stolen

I would never consider buying ANY bike without a title.  MX or street.  If you don't have a title, I'm moving on...

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Alright everyone,  I went and looked at the bike today.  The owner, no older than 20 didn't appear to know much about the bike.  He claimed to only put 30-50 hrs on it.

 

he also said he changed the oil every 8 rides...anyway I'll tell you what I observed 

 

breaks and front tire were good

slight right fork leak

rear tire needs replacing

Chain and sprocket appear to be good condition and not much west on them

good rear brake

 

the clutch woudnt engage?  Idk what was going on with that   He said he and his friend, who knew a little more than him, replaced the clutch lever.

 

the bike had good compression (it took a good amount of force to push the kickstart down.

 

the engine did not want to even try to fire up.

the oil seemed pretty clean, anti freeze was full etc.

 

while I was inspecting The engine I noticed that the bolts for the upper showed wrench marks on them (the marks you get when you get a size slightly bigger than the bolt and it kind of strips the bolt).   He claims it was the previous owner.   

Also, when I was trying to start it, I'd kick it a few times and gas would leak out from the overflow tube?  Anyone know what's going on with that?  

 

 

Anywho, what do you all think?   I'm gonna have my mechanic friend go with me this weekend so he can take a look at it.  

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That clutch thing could be a master cylinder or slave, or both.

The rounded of bolts would probably be the biggest thing for me.  MAYBE, the top end has been done, but was it done right?  The rounded bolts makes me paid to think there's a possibility that other things could be wrong inside there, maybe not now, but soon, if something comes loose.

Does he have a title?  Another red flag if he doesn't.

Man, that sounds like a list of stuff I would run from, YMMV...

 

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